RobertZ

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  1. I looked up your question because I also felt shame recently--certainly not the same as you felt--but I also wanted advice. Thanks, @Nahm for your advice. I will spare you the details; but I this is my reflection on my shame. My denial is an excellent place to start—once I am in a safe place, and alone. “To what extent do I trust myself? For example, is it safe for me to admit what I feel right now, and what I felt recently, and what happened?” The answer—whether I can trust myself--might not be obvious. I see my mind as a group of personalities who sit around and discuss (the harsher and more self-critical voices in my mind are there for good reason). One idea is a commission, to get some advice. This commission will be a sub-counsel of voices in my own mind “who will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick.” I want to think about my shame—and the only voices I want with ‘me’ are wise and kind aspects of my personality. We will consider the issue. These aspects of my personality will then bring a tentative conclusion or recommendation for the whole mind to adopt and scrutinize. Is there any part of my “wise” personality whom some humiliation won’t kill? The sub-group: How do I feel? Vulnerable. Like a part of me might be sacrificed —I’m full of denial— Dry mouth, racing heart, slow time, pain, tension, many fears, eye contact shutdown, feeling unworthy, and aware of my defects. Where do I want to go? Another way to this is, ‘what do I want to happen,’ or ‘What is important to me, in deciding what I want?’ I think I need to get granular about the values involved with my experience of shame. I am not trying to shut any aspects of my personality down, but there seems to be a problem. Granular is good. Leading up to the moment of shame, what was going through my mind? What was motivating to me? What was I feeling before the shameful events? Well, I wasn’t feeling perfect, but I thought that things were going pretty smoothly. Why wasn’t it great? Well, I lacked something. Bingo. And, is my whole mind going to blame me for needing something? What about the consequences of the shame? First, people have their problems and joys to think about, even if they remember that I made them feel bad. Secondly, ‘Do not leave your place. Gentleness can assuage great wrath.’ What roles do the following play in achieving my life-vision: (i) my motivation leading up to the shame; and (ii) the parts of myself that have to deal with the consequences of the shame? (i) My motivation to share my knowledge (my motivation leading up to the shame) is a massive part of my vision. Where was the context of the shameful event? Why was I there in the first place? Was I looking for a position? I identify with my thoughts. I lack confidence. I fear conflict. I need to improve my questioning. (ii) The part of myself that ‘has to deal with consequences’ could use some reframing. “What is my vision anyway?” .... Okay—I know what I need to do. I need to learn about [work-XYZ], And I can sell a vision doing [work-XYZ]. My mind will likely accept this solution to my shame. How afraid am I now? Less. I am still scared of powerlessness and not knowing what to say or do because of moral failings or my unbridled enthusiasm. Otherwise, I have to go back on more fundamental assumptions about my discretion to test life-hypotheses right now. Can I do this? I can start. What happens if I fail? I have much more skin in the game than I did last time I failed. I’m also taking a lower-risk approach at this new attempt at life. My cards are stacked as best as I can. I plan to have a strong foundation in family, physical strength, principles, knowledge, and kindness. If I "fail" I will fall like a falling ember or a burning match. What is my higher purpose? My purpose is to affirm the existence above, below, and within me. It may be that I am foolish and worthless. However, I have chosen my cards. Let’s find out what happens when I live like this. I am stronger for having gone through this shame. I’m ready to refocus on [...].
  2. I experimented with daily and occasional use of Armodafinil for approximately a year. Its wakefulness, psycho-stimulant, and placebo effects can be fun. I found 75 mg of Armodafinil to feel the same 'good feeling' as 150 mg. Higher amounts are more disruptive to sleep, though. I found 35 mg to be best. Also, I avoid the drug during regular waking hours. I wake up early and take it--like two or three hours before I have to wake up (and go back to sleep). If I take Armodafinil during regular waking hours, my sleep suffers in the following days (even multiple nights later, sleep gets out of whack). I am now experimenting--on rare occasion--with "resetting my sleep" with Armodafinil. If I have a 36-hour work-day or a night of insomnia, I might take Armodafinil the morning after the all-nighter (or the following morning, after I finally sleep). The goal is to force a good sleep the next night. 36 hour-days kill my productivity for several days. Therefore, I would not recommend "resetting" sleep with Armodafinil if the drug tended to increase the number of sleepless nights or 36-hour work-days in general. I do not want insomnia re-enforcements or contributions. I wish I took notes about (a) times of administration, and (b) sleep quality in the following days. In terms of work-productivity, I sometimes got extra stuck-in-the-weeds on Armodafinil. Even without the drug, I fixate on details and miss the big picture! Finally, my personal experience has confounding factors. Still, I will mention that after extensive use, I had some slow "frozen" thinking (as in a fight, flight, or freeze). I used 36-hour work-days to compensate for a lack of productivity. I do not know how Armodafinil contributed to this holding pattern; but I would encourage some robust periods of no-use!
  3. Rajneeshpuram--I couldn't resist : Isn't it true that you have never wrestled [in the WWE]? You have never judged a WWE wrestling match? Has a WWE wrestler ever told you that WWE wrestling is not real? You do not know whether WWE wrestling is real or not, do you?
  4. Analyze alternatives with criteria. Make an X/Y chart. On the one axis, list the options. On the other axis, list the criteria (e.g., what is important to you; what you want; what you are concerned about; how you decide which option to pick). Try to generate a third option, if possible. Then, in the chart, write advantages / disadvantages, or use numbers, or use colours (e.g,. Red = bad, yellow = moderate; Green = good).
  5. Also, you can use your criteria to evaluate your alternatives. I would probably reduce the number of the criteria (i.e., what is important to you; how you would decide what to do). You Could also develop the options with more detail. Then Fill out the chart--either with words (e.g., advantages or disadvantages), or with numbers (e.g, -5 is very bad, -1 is bad, 0 is neutral, +2 is pretty good). Then you can also Color code it (e.g., Red is very bad, Orange is a warning, Green is very good, etc.).
  6. @Consilience when you say, “like I'm gun shy from really living on the edge of life, skating that abyss of failure” it sounds like you need someone to hug you and tell you that it’s going to be okay. Maybe I’ll just say this. Look for satisfaction in your work. Work is funny like that—I have often found myself procrastinating because I didn’t want to do something, Once I started, I found some enjoyment in the work. Look for that satisfaction in the little things of your daily work.
  7. When you say “barely glaze a specific stage/color” I wonder if the person has ongoing needs that the earlier value meme supports? In your example, a person who had a traumatic childhood might lack feelings of belonging. Purple is great for belonging. As the person advances in other areas (like strength or scientific knowledge), they might have ongoing needs for tribal belonging. A person can probably “integrate” non-shadow aspects of earlier stages. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway! For example, I lack integration of red. So, I’m trying to develop my self-respect by bodybuilding.
  8. Decimalization may be more effective than legalization—but that depends on the country. Legalization requires sufficient infrastructure and resources. Countries that struggle with bribery, for example, may have more pressing concerns than legalization, such as the imposition of the “rule of law” (that the law applies to all people—governors and citizens alike). Decriminalization might help to prevent discriminatory enforcement, for example, such as the disproportionate imposition of drug-prohibition based on race. I also don’t know how pervasive corruption is in Brazil. Decriminalization might make good sense in Brazil, if the country needs to focus its resources on pressing issues like reducing bribery. More developed countries may have a greater need for fully integrated medical regulation. Major concerns for such countries might include providing uncontaminated supplies or ensuring safe contexts for drug use. For example, how do we practically provide generous and liberal access to methamphetamine to populations in a way that the people will have the supports that they need? I’m not sure how robust Brazil’s medical regulation infrastructure is. However, my impression is that Brazil has more pressing needs than regulating recreational drug use. I hear about large-scale dumping of toxic waste, corrupt dam development leading to disasters, and wide scale deforestation In Brazil. So, decriminalization might be a more immediate solution to the drug war collateral—and reduce drug contamination to some extent.
  9. Here are some reflections. The video points out that often-overlooked external factors have significant population effects. The difference between correlation and causation contributes to this paradox. For example, people born in families with top 10% income in America live, on average, approximately 12 years longer than people born in the bottom 50% of income (sorry, I forget the exact statistic). However, a wealthy individual might live long or short. Without specific evidence, we cannot conclude that wealth caused a particular wealthy individual to live longer. Or, a person might be lucky for being half an inch taller than the average height (suppose that height is associated with generations wealth). Still, a person’s height might have little or nothing to do with the person’s wealth later in life. The video gives some examples of people overestimating the effects their agency (as opposed to external factors). For most of the 11 astronautic candidates selected from 18,300 Astronaut applicants, a tiny amount of luck played the determinative factor in their selection. Even if luck played a tiny factor, luck was the determining factor (above hard work, skill, and other internal factors) for most of the successful competitors. Some people see their agency (e.g., hard work and intelligence) as the fair cause of their success. Even delusional beliefs in control are associated with success and social entitlement. An emphasis on extrinsic factors (like social determinants) increased likability and generosity. We look at the specific causes of a success contextually. “In conclusion, I want to thank my amazing friends and family for my success. I also want to thank my own intelligence and my long hours of work for my success. And I want to thank gravity for holding me down. Where would I be, without the fact that I’m half an inch taller than the average person in my community? I am so appreciative that I am tall. Come on people: my tallness is part of this momentous achievement. Let’s give a hand for my height. And a cheer for gravity! “Always be born in a first-world nation. And give me money because I am already pretty rich, and I pay it forward by creating the hope of obedient labour for unemployed people. Thank you.”
  10. So, you’re doing something you don’t want to do (recovering from mental suffering) and that means gaining weight. I can relate to doing things I don’t want to do. I ask myself, “What am I concerned about losing?” You say that you are concerned about losing prettiness. Fair enough! One thing I am doing, which is hard work, but helps, is recording what I eat in My Fitness Pal (Phone app). You don’t have to gain a lot of fat to gain weight. If you add muscle, it will just make your booty look hot. Gain a bit of lean muscle—not fat—and you will look thin, pretty, and toned. Take your weight in the morning when you wake up. Set a goal for no change at first—just to eat as you want—normal. Record everything you eat for 1 week (at least 3 or 4 days in the week). See how many calories you eat on average. Then record your weight at the end of the week. You will probably be the same weight—maybe a bit more or less. Find the number that will make you stay the same weight Then change your goal on My Fitness Pal: add about 150 calories to your maintenance number. Record what you eat. Aim for your new higher goal for another week. Record your food in My Fitness Pal on some days. Try to eat that much food each day. Record your weight again after a week. Did you gain weight? Stay the same? You want to gain weight slowly. Keep it at a level to gain slowly. Add calories to your daily goal only if you have to, to gain weight. Go for a whole week before changing. If you grow slow, giant amounts of growth will not go to fat. It will go to muscle, assuming you do a bit of activity. You don’t have to eat too much food, that makes you feel sick! The same goes with losing fat once you have some muscle. Gradually take away calories—slowly—from your maintenance amount. If you want to lose fat, eat as much as you can while keeping your current weight (maintenance calories). Then only take away 150 calories per day, and keep that calorie goal for at least a whole week. Slowly lose weight. Eat as much as you can while still losing weight. Then your metabolism will stay fast, and you can strip off the fat without losing too much muscle. If a person suddenly drops a lot of calories to “diet,” their metabolism will slow down a lot. “I’m starving and not losing any fat.”
  11. Maybe some questions could help to highlight specific aspects. In what aspects of executive function are you (1) struggling, (2) could use improvement, (4) medium, (4) good, (5) great! -Inhibitory control? -Starting or continuing tasks? -How is your working memory? -Keeping Track of your train of thought? -Attention and forgetting? -Organizing thoughts? -Conceptualization? -Planning? -How flexible is your thinking? -Calm with change? -Fixating? -Changing activities?
  12. Summary I consider myself a psychedelic advocate, but I have questions and concerns about psychedelics. A Question What do you think (and I am not saying this occurred), if I made a vow, while I was on a massive dose of 5-MEO-DMT: 'I swear in the integrity of my heart and on my commitment to loving myself and being loved by myself for all eternity, that I will never take a psychedelic trip again'? I am not saying that I made that promise. If I tripped again, would I risk facing God again--with a broken promise? I would hope that I would love myself nevertheless. Still, the possibility bothers me. What do you think? Background I took 28 mg of 5-MEO, knelt down on a blanket, and bowed with my head to the ground, with the intention of understanding my life purpose. Come up: fear I had an uncomfortable awareness of an angel, who was not happy about my state (you may remember, one's heart rate can double or triple 5 or 10 after taking a big dose of 5-MEO). I tried to breath deeply and relax with an excuse: 'Maybe this is how people "decompress" and "relax" after a long week of work--watching some hallucinations of the carpet turning into swirling clouds fractal depths, and feeling the resounding ringing of the explosion of the universe through their body? Okay, maybe not... Peak: love Then I saw black static (like the buzzing static of a TV). God is just there--a consciousness of eternal black static. Then I saw black clarity. God's mind begins to penetrate open space through the static, with experience of self-awareness and eternal consideration. Then I saw the world, and what it means to be a brother (a memory of my brother saying, "this is what brotherhood is.") Then I saw my mother contemplating plants and vines. Then I saw that my neighbour would see me as a threat and kill me if I uttered even one true statement (e.g., describing how beautiful my life is would be dangerous); so I dissembled [and later gave him some wine to distract him]. Then I asked, "What is the purpose of my life?" And the answer came, "To love and be loved." 'Oh God! Love me forever,' I thought. 'And I will let God love me. And I will love. Let me accept myself for eternity--and let me be okay with eternal existence. Please God.' Coming down: fear I finished my prayer, and got up quickly. I felt a very judgmental angelic being watching me. I picked up the shambles of my drug paraphernalia, and pretended to be a respectable member of society. In conclusion, I do not remember swearing, "I will never take 5-MEO-DMT." However, I still destroyed the remaining substance out of irrational fear of the accuser. Concluding Reflection A few months ago there was an interesting criminal case, in the city where I live. A university student (all ready for business--straight A's and almost a professional hockey player) got drunk and ate some magic mushrooms. He ran away from his friends settling down for a movie in a house in a wealthy community, and ran through the freezing cold snow (butt naked), and broke into the house of a total stranger (who happened to be a ~50 year old university professor), and viciously beat her with an object--permanently destroyed her hand. Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to escape and bind up her arm, literally gushing with blood. This student also smashed into someone else's house. The student woke up in prison with his feet bruised and cut up from ice or glass. The court of appeal let him off innocent because he had insufficient culpability for his actions; nor did he belong in psychiatric detention once he came to. The court of appeal made some surprisingly accurate comments about psychedelics, despite the limited psychiatric evidence, such as: 'people who take magic mushrooms do not normally hurt others.' Obviously we can criticize this guy's ignorance for mixing alcohol with psychedelics. But without the mushrooms, this local professor would not have been maimed, and this local family would not have been traumatized.
  13. “My heart overflows with noble words.” I feel like I should speak—but everything I say is so inadequate. People used to gather to listened to me. Speaking with a throng (no, not a thong—that’s someone else’s life) was my passing pleasure in the midst 14 years of solitude and desolate loneliness. (I wonder what wisdom the path of the thong can bring? Can sexual license generate immense gentleness, truth, and kindness?) Here is my grain of sand. It is a question: ”What is the best thought to dwell on for the terrifying duration of eternity?” Again, “What is the best thought to think about forever and ever?” Oh God! Grant that the best though may be mutual love forever and ever. Please God, let me love and be loved forever.
  14. Sorry—I don’t say other people should ask these questions, or that they are good, or even that they are ten. I have so many questions: How can I love forever and ever? How can I accept love, give love, and be love? Will I accept being-love, even if I have to give up knowing, and I won’t understand things? Do I have to give up knowledge for love? How can I give up knowing in order to speak my truth of love? Can I really stay in love forever? What is the best and deepest idea to have, to stay in love forever? Is forever comfortable? Is it beautiful? Is forever too scary and horrible? Do I have the power to keep forever “okay?” Can I love forever and ever? Can I be satisfied with the good things that I have? Can I accept love and give love, and not be desperate? Can someone else take desperation, fear, and suffering for me—or do I have to suffer for eternity? Will I be able to be brave enough to show mercy? Can I show mercy without suffering forever? Am I destined to eternal damnation? Will I slip between the cracks of karma and lose my consciousness through my guilt? Will my worst fears come true? Will I be okay at work, even though it is hard and I feel totally inadequate, and I have not paid my debts to society? How can I move forward in my career, because I am getting so sick and unwell trying? Does work ever get easier? Will my experiences of work Finally kill My learning goal motivation and my curiosity to learn? Will I add value to others? What ethical system binds me? What is my wisdom? Can I make life easier and less confusing for others—like providing shelter and good water to people, and teaching them? Can I see the goodness in other people, and care about their struggles? Can I help people resolve conflicts people are stuck with? Will I do miracles? Will I heal people? Is consciousness really forever? Can other people save me and remember me? Did I have a higher being? Did I fall? Can I be happy? Will I be okay? Will everything be okay? Is existence too scary for anyone or will they get relief from goodness? If it’s really forever—am I in trouble? Surely they know my guilt, at a higher order of eternity?
  15. I understand that St. Paul (Saul at the time) got angry when followers of Jesus said that God’s Law tortured the Christ to death. The Christ is the one smeared with oil (old fashioned moisturizer). The commandments of God tortured the anointed prophet, king, and high priest of God. This discussion pissed Saul off, and he approved of the imprisonments, bearings, and killings—such as the stoning of Stephen. Saul’s conversion to ’Paul’ focused on this theme. He was persecuting those ‘Others,’ but heard a vision saying, “Saul, Saul—why are you persecuting me?” This vision led Paul to understand that the Christians were the body of Jesus. Paul became fixated that the Father of Mercies who willed the death of Jesus, for us to receive the Holy Spirit. That is my understanding of Paul. He sees himself Primarily as a prophet, rather than a king or sacrificial priest. However, it is very illuminating to pull out the leitmotifs of a Paul the sacrificer, and Paul the king. Peace.